News channel Al Jazeera is slammed for ‘flouting’ government orders to register as a foreign agent of Qatar, new report finds

A new Zachor Legal Institute report has slammed news channel Al Jazeera for ‘flouting’ government orders to register as a foreign agent of Qatar.

The Department of Justice found in September 2020 that Al Jazeera was ‘controlled and funded by the Government of Qatar’ – an oil-rich Middle East nation with controversial ties to terror groups.

The department ordered the channel’s Washington DC-based subsidiary AJ+ to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), a law put in place to monitor foreign nations’ influence operations in the US.

The report accuses Al Jazeera of using its TV network ‘to promote and/or whitewash the Muslim Brotherhood and an array of Islamic terrorist groups, such as Nusra Front (formerly known as Qaeda of Syria), the Taliban, Hamas, and Hezbollah’.

It describes AJ+’s content, which has achieved ‘17 billion collective views’ on social media as ‘propaganda’, ‘anti-American, anti-West, anti-Israel, divisive’, and targeted at ‘young, progressive Americans’.

Al Jazeera describes itself as an ‘independent news organization funded in part by the Qatari government’, which broadcasts to an estimated 430 million households in over 150 countries.

AJ+ says it is a ‘unique digital news and storytelling project promoting human rights and equality, holding power to account, and amplifying the voices of the powerless.’

The report is the latest salvo in a battle for influence between pro-Israel groups such as Zachor, and pro-Qatar organizations which are often intensely critical of the Jewish Middle Eastern country.

Zachor’s report called for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok to label AJ+ content as ‘state-affiliated media’, to warn users of the organization’s Qatari ownership and control.

‘Due to AJ+’s explicit links to Qatar and the nature of the content it disseminates, the US Department of Justice issued an official order in September 2020 for AJ+ to register as a foreign entity under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). Yet, as of March 2023, AJ+ has failed to register, despite repeated requests by lawmakers that the DOJ compel it to do so,’ the report said.

AJ+’s parent company, Al Jazeera Media Network, is owned by QMC, Qatar’s official state broadcaster, controlled by the country’s Emir.

Al Jazeera’s board is chaired by Sheikh Hamad bin Thamer Al Thali, a member of the Qatari royal family.

The 47-page Zachor report highlighted the channel’s apparent promotion of Islamic extremists.

‘For many years, Muslim Brotherhood religious leader Yusuf al-Qaradawi had a weekly program on Al Jazeera Arabic, where he advocated for terrorist attacks on US soldiers in Iraq, promoted Jihad against the West, and praised the Holocaust and attacks on Israeli civilians,’ the institute said.

It pointed to a January 23 op-ed on Al Jazeera’s website by the Iranian foreign minister claiming that the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, designated by the US as a foreign terrorist organization, is a ‘leading counterterror force’.

The report said Al Jazeera describes leaders of US-designated terror groups as ‘martyrs’, including Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader Bahaa Abu al-Ata.

In 2022 the channel aired an interview with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, who ‘threatened to abduct additional Israeli soldiers to hold as bargaining chips against Israel’ during the sit down broadcast by Al Jazeera.

Marc Greendorfer, founder and president of Zachor Legal Institute, said AJ+ is a ‘tool for Qatari propaganda’.

‘Our extensive research exposes Al Jazeera’s AJ+ as no more than a tool for Qatari propaganda targeting young Americans,’ he told

‘The DOJ should swiftly compel AJ+ to abide by U.S. law and register under FARA. Failure to do so would signal that Qatar can operate within the U.S. media market with complete and utter impunity.’

Michigan Republican US Congressman Jack Bergman of Michigan told the Zachor report was ‘disturbing’ and described Al Jazeera as a ‘thinly veiled influence operation’.

‘This report provides even more disturbing evidence that Al Jazeera is not an independent media outlet, but rather a thinly veiled influence operation to advance the interests and radical views of the Qatari government and royal family,’ he said.

‘All Americans should be concerned how this arm of Qatar’s government is using Al Jazeera to spy on members of Congress and hide intelligence operatives in plain sight in the US Capitol’ asking for Al Jazeera to be scrutinized under FARA regulations and accusing the channel of being used by the Qatari government to ‘incite violence, glorify terrorists as “martyrs,” and broadcast hateful, extreme content’.

House representatives wrote again to then attorney general William Barr in June 2019 and August 2020. A month later the DoJ issued an order for AJ+ to register under FARA within 30 days.

Al Jazeera hit back, claiming the order was wrangled by lobbyists for the United Arab Emirates, Qatar’s regional rival, and has yet to register, despite further concerned letters to the DoJ from senators.

AJ+’s social media following includes 11.55million on Facebook, 1.25million on YouTube, 1.2million on Twitter, 913,000 on Instagram and 317,000 on TikTok – with about 8million likes since its launch, according to Zachor.

The Zachor report comes as lawmakers are proposing a bill to limit foreign government-owned news organizations from using Capitol Hill press passes as a potential spying tool.

The bill, introduced by Bergman this month, would prevent state-sponsored media from getting press credentials for Capitol Hill unless they are in compliance with FARA and other laws.

It would limit any state-sponsored news organization to 10 Hill passes, and requires FBI background checks for all applicants from those outlets.

A statement from Bergman’s office about the bill warned that Al Jazeera has more media passes for Capitol Hill than any other media organization, allowing dozens of their reporters access to areas off-limits to the general public.

‘Despite Qatar’s brazen defiance of U.S. laws, Al Jazeera in the 118th Congress had 136 press credentials—far more than the 82 issued to the New York Times,’ Bergman’s statement said.

‘The spy balloon recently launched over the continental United States was only one of many examples of Chinese government espionage and surveillance targeting Americans. Yet, as noted in the bill’s findings, more than two dozen credentials were issued in the 118th Congress to media outlets that are registered under FARA as Chinese agents and another 16 credentials were issued to media outlets owned and/or controlled by senior officials in the Chinese Communist Party.

‘The possibility is all too real that foreign intelligence services could use their propaganda arms to hide intelligence operatives in plain sight in the U.S. Capitol.’

Al Jazeera did not respond to’s requests for comment.

Original Daily Mail article:

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